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Lance Cpl. William Kresse, a combat videographer with 2nd Marine Logistics Group, puts on his skating gloves aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 20, 2011. As the summer nears, Marines and sailors are beginning to do more recreational activities and it is important for them to practice proper safety procedures to help keep them injury-free. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Summer safety essential to keep Marines in the fight

23 Mar 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Last year the 2nd Marine Logistics Group lost no service members to safety-related injuries and keeping it that way is a goal that everyone would want to repeat.

So as the weather warms up, it is important for unit leaders and safety personnel to provide tools and guidance to help Marines and sailors remain vigilant and mission-ready without disrupting their off-duty leisure plans.

“We see all types of injuries, especially during the summer,” said Staff Sgt. Sharp, safety chief for the 2nd MLG. “Marines get hurt doing everything from taking a walk in the park to bull riding.”

Some of the most common mishaps during the summer months involve motorcycle riding, as well as an increase in water-related accidents due to move frequent visits to the beaches.

Sharp said the days of summer that see a jump in the amount of injuries are known as the 101 Days of Summer, which stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day holiday weekends. During this time, units have a heightened awareness of injuries and urge their Marines and sailors to be cautious during this time of travel and extended liberty periods.

In order to minimize the potential for mishaps, all units have a mandatory stand-down, which consists of periods of military education that cover five to six safety-related topics seen as the highest priority concerns by the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton, who oversees more than 60,000 Marines and sailors serving on East Coast operational commands.

The purpose of the stand down is to prepare service members for situations they might encounter and urge them to practice proper operational risk management, such as wearing seatbelts and wearing personal protective equipment that could help save their lives. However, some situations cannot be controlled, so they must always remain vigilant and ready to react at a moment’s notice, as Lance Cpl. Amanda Doubrava, a comptroller with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG, knows all too well.

“I was at Emerald Isle Beach with friends, and it was a nice day so there were hundreds of people at the beach,” said Doubrava. “There was a big wave coming, so I dove under it and as I came out of the water and rubbed the salt out of my eyes I got hit with a surf board.”

Doubrava sustained severe injuries to the face and has undergone numerous surgeries as a result.

The man riding the surf board didn’t have it attached to his ankle by a rope or tether; he wasn’t being aware of the people around him, said Doubrava.

“What if it didn’t hit me and hit a little kid … it could have been way worse,” she said.

Although she wasn’t able to control the situation, she acknowledges proper safety on the other party’s behalf could have stopped the situation from happening.

“You don’t always know what’s going to happen … you must be prepared,” said Sharp. “The thing that you least expect will injure you. You can not underestimate anything.”

This is a big concern amongst leadership.

“Being in a leadership position, you have to make sure your Marines and sailors know that they need to follow rules,” said Gunnery Sgt. Morris Holliday, company gunnery sergeant for Headquarters Company, CLR-27. “There isn’t gray, there’s only white and black … just because you think it’s safe doesn’t mean it is.”

Marines have to remember that they get injured here too, not just in combat, added Holliday.

“Marines need to know that they aren’t indestructible,” said Sharp. “Don’t over look anything.”

Whatever the activity may be, knowing the risks is a step toward enjoying a safe summer season.

For more information on safety tips, courses and statistics contact your unit’s safety office, read Marine Corps Order 5100.30B, the recreational off duty safety order, or visit www.iimef.usmc.mil/2dmlg/safety.nsf/main.


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